Afoko pleads not guilty to murder charges

LawGregory Afoko, the suspect who is being held over the death of Mr Adams Mahama, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Upper East Region Chairman, has pleaded not guilty before an Accra High Court.

Afoko, a farmer, is being held on the charges of conspiracy to commit crime to wit murder and murder.

It is alleged that he carried out the act with one Alandgi Asake who is on the run.

A third accomplice, Musa Issa, was granted bail after the Attorney-General advised that there was not enough evidence to charge him.

Mr Israel Ackah, Defence Counsel, told the seven member jury not to believe the case of the prosecution as they would find out that their case was based on speculation, half -hearted investigations, innuendos, unsubstantiated and rumours.”

Afoko had earlier rejected three of the members who were empanelled.

The trail was to have commenced at the High Court on March 23, but the trial was caught up at the Court of Appeal and the matter was adjourned to today.

On February 23, this year, an Accra District Court committed Afoko to stand trial at the High Court to answer the charges leveled against him.

The State today undertook the committal proceedings before an Accra Magistrate Court and tendered over 17 exhibits in respect of the trial.

The exhibits include Afoko’s caution, charge and investigation statements as well as a post mortem report of the deceased conducted on November 25, last year by Dr Lawrence Edusei; a medical report on the deceased wife who also sustained injuries in her bid to assist the deceased when the incident occurred.

Other exhibits are a gallon containing the alleged residue of acid found at the crime scene, a cup believed to have been used by the assailants in pouring the acid on to the deceased, the deceased’s pair of shoes and attire and a piece of carpet in the deceased car.

The rest were various reports from the Ghana Standard Authority (GSA), a pair of blue black track suit belonging to Afoko and photographs of the crime scene.

Prosecution led by Mr Matthew Amponsah, Chief State Attorney, said the deceased was a contractor who lived at Bolgatanga SSNIT Flats in the Upper East Region and the NPP Regional Chairman of the Region.

According to Mr Amponsah, Afoko also lived in Bolgatanga and he was the younger brother of Mr Paul Afoko, the National Chairman of the NPP.

The State said the accused is also a party activist, and was close to the deceased.

On May 20, last year, the deceased left his house to his construction site with his pick-up truck with registration number NR 761-14.

The Chief State Attorney said the deceased returned to the house in the night and at his entrance, two men signaled him to roll down the window of his car.

The deceased obliged and the two men, however, poured acid on the deceased and they fled on a motorbike.

Mr Amponsah said Mr Mahama shouted for help and his wife, Hajia Zenabu Adams went to his aid.

He said Mrs Adams also sustained burns on her chest and breast in her bid to assist the victim.

According to Mr Amponsah, the deceased wife told him that it was Gregory and Asanke, who are all members of the NPP, who poured the acid on him.

The deceased also mentioned the two accused persons, in the presence of neighbours, as the people who poured the acid on him.

The Chief State Attorney said Mr Adams was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit of the Bolgatanga Hospital where he passed on.

Mr Amponsah said the Police proceeded to the crime scene and collected a gallon containing the residue of the alleged acid, a cup and clothes of the assailant.

He said the passenger and driver’s seats were soaked with the acid and a pair of truck suit used by the accused was also picked up.

The items retrieved were sent to the Ghana Standard Board.

Afoko was picked up at about 0200 hours in his house and he led the Police to Asake’s house.

Asake was, however, not available.

A post mortem was conducted on the deceased by Dr Edusei and the report indicates that Mr Adams died of extensive acid burns.

Afoko has been remanded into lawful custody to reappear on April 19.

Prosecution is expected to call 15 witnesses to make their case.

Source: GNA

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